Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How I Got My Agent

Um, what? Yeah, you heard me. :D

If you're here for the Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG), you're in the right place, and this post may lift your spirits. Since so many have been sharing my journey to publication with me, I wanted to make sure y'all were the first to know that I've signed with Jordy Albert of The Booker Albert Agency.

(Yes I think of Geordie LaForge every time I say her name. lol)

With the bold new revolution in publication options, you may be wondering why I chose to go with an agent, and to be honest, I've strongly considered over the last few months if I really needed one. But I'll tell you, that after talking to Jordy about my project, I knew it was the move I wanted to make. She "got" my story and my characters, but even more, she wanted to make it better. That's what I'm talkin' bout. 

But let's rewind a bit here, to oh, somewhere in early September during the entries for a little event called GUTGAA, (AKA Gearing Up To Get An Agent,) hosted by the fantastic Deanna Barnhart. Now, Deana hosted this event last year on a much smaller scale, and it was a lot of fun, but this year, since Deana signed with her own agent, she went all out and un-agented writers were scrambling to get in during the submission windows for a chance to catch an agent's eye. There were two windows each for email entries of queries and first 500 words. Both closed within the first MINUTE! That's how big GUTGAA was.

We even trended on Twitter, and the party with the #GUTGAA tag at the time the windows opened was a mixture of excitement and disappointment. Not everyone made it in, of course. And believe it or not, I was one of the ones who didn't make it. I hit send at the exact second and was too late. The submission had filled. But you know, I was cool with that, and there were so many new writers that I had never met who HAD gotten in, it was just fun trying and being a part of the excitement.(Which I lovingly dubbed the GUTGAA Geek Train)

Later that night, though, Deanna sent me an email that said some of the entries were duplicates which made room for a few more, and mine was one of them. Yay! After not making the second round of Cupid's contest with the same story, this was total good news, BUT I still had to get past the writer review panel to make it to the agent round, and there was quite a nice line up of agents.

Long story short, my entry, The Desiree, made it with flying colors, which was super cool and made me feel all warm and fuzzy. During the very first day of the agent round I got a request right away--the only request I'd get. A partial from Jordy Albert, who at the time was with Corvisiero Agency.

To be honest, I wasn't familiar with Jordy, so I immediately looked up her bio on the agency website and after reading it I was like, "Wow she sounds perfect for my story." No joke, it was uncanny how well her interests fit my story. So I emailed her my partial the same hour she requested it and a few days later she requested the full. That was a great sign, and I still had some partials out with other agents, so I liked the speed in which Jordy operated. I also entered Pitch Live and got two more partial requests and sent those off.

About a week later, right before I was leaving for a cross country trip, Jordy emailed me back with an R & R. (revise and resubmit) She listed the things she liked and the things she didn't and said she'd be willing to take another look if I made some changes. Okay, I was excited about the R& R because that meant she liked it enough to give it another chance, PLUS she had an awesome idea for the ending that set a lightbulb off in my head. She told me in her email that she really liked my characters, and for me, that was the clencher, because that was the most important part of my story--is having someone "get" my characters.

So I was flustered with the revisions because I wanted to get to work, but I'm on my way to the west coast with kids in tote and not a lot of time to work on my story. Plus, the time zone changes would catch up with me and I'd just want to chill and do nothing that required brain power. But in between the traveling and fun, I stared at a notebook with Jordy's notes and tried to figure out what changes I wanted to make.

And then, after returning home and slaving away on my story, I sent it off to my outstanding critique partner, Kathryn Sheridan Kupanoff, who coincidentally just signed with her agent in the same month! And she, being the rockstar she is, read the whole thing in a few days time and had my notes back to me for some final tweaks, and off it went. Into Jordy's inbox for a second time.

About a week later Jordy responded that she loved the changes and the characters were awesome. (*blushes*) That's the enthusiasm I was hoping for--the kind that every writer longs to hear. But Jordy also had some news that she was leaving the Corvisiero Agency and starting up a brand new agency with Brittany Booker (whom you may know as Cassie Mae's agent if you follow Cassie's blog)

Of course, I had a few questions about that and Jordy answered everything. We talked on the phone about her endeavors with the new agency, as well as some additional tweaks to my story. And really this is what I dig about Jordy so much--she loves the story, but still sees how it can be better. That's what I want--to put out the best story I possibly can.

Plus, Jordy is smart and down to earth, and loves the Goonies and Dr. Who. ('Nuff said.)

I didn't feel it necessary to look further, so I notified the others with my partials and that was that.

The great news for you if you're querying, is that Jordy and Brittany of The Booker Albert Literary Agency are open to queries for YA and adult stories so you can query them anytime based on their instructions on their website. I'm stoked to be working with Jordy and excited for this joint endeavor.

Meanwhile, I'm in the revision trenches and making a mess of things polishing away. Thanks to these uber awesome beta readers who read The Desiree in its earliest form and gave me such valuable feedback and encouragement:

Mary Weibel
Susan Fields
Nicole Zoltack
Robin Hall
Jay Noel

and to my Chicago expert go-to guy, Michael di Gesu, who answered all things Chicago related at anytime I asked, thanks Michael!

Thanks for stopping by to share my story and announcement! What I've learned on this journey so far, is that yes rejections suck, but it's just the process we have to endure to get that one person who really gets it, who wants to make it work. Some find that agent/editor right away, others don't, but it's never a reason to stop looking. It feels great to find someone who is enthusiastic about our work and WANTS to invest their time and efforts into it. In terms of agenting, why would you want anything less?

89 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

I love reading posts like this! Congrats to you! Great story.

T. Drecker said...

YEAH!!!! Congratulations! Here's wishing you the best when you go on sub. Can't wait to see it on the shelves ;)

Nicole Zoltack said...

YAY!!! I'm so happy for you! Loved The Desiree and can't wait to read it and see how it changed. :)

kmckendry said...

YAY! Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!

Christine Danek said...

I'm so excited for you!! Congrats!! Thanks for sharing your story, it's inspiring.

Suzi said...

Congratulations! Wonderful news. Good luck with your next step.

Old Kitty said...

Awwwww PK!!!! How wonderful for you!!
Huge huge congratulations!!! Onwards and upwards now! Take care
x

Mary said...

Congrats, PK! I am so excited for you.

Yvonne's World of Poetry said...

Wonderful story, congrats also.
Best of luck.



Yvonne.

Shell Flower said...

Congatulations! Yay. Squee!!! Thanks for giving me some hope. Good things really do happen if you hang in there and work hard. Good job.

Laurel Garver said...

Congrats, PK, that's wonderful news. Best wishes for a great partnership the Jordy!

Catherine Stine said...

Very exciting for you! Congrats!

E. Arroyo said...

Congrats!!!

Julie Musil said...

OH. MY. GOSH!!!!!! Pk, I am SOOOOOO happy for you! You totally deserve this, and I'm so happy you signed with an agent who "gets" you and your story. I wish you loads of luck as you go out on submission. And I look forward to the day when I read your story!!!! *hugs*

Carla White said...

Woohoo!! Congratulations!

Karen Walker said...

Pk, so inspiring and I am so so happy for you.
Karen

Matthew MacNish said...

How exciting! Congrats, PK.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Congratulations PK!! And best of luck to Jordy and Brittany. I hope you ladies take the publishing world by storm!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Wow, awesome news, congratulations!!

Beth said...

I've followed your blog since 2010! I'm so excited for you! Congrats!

Robin said...

I've been waiting for this post-YAY! So thrilled for you and that Jordy "gets" your characters and is helping shape The Desiree. I'm excited to keep following your journey. *throws buckets of confetti*

ilima said...

This is incredible news! Big congrats to you!!!

Brinda said...

Congrats, PK!! *sending you virtual chocolates and flowers*

Anita said...

Fun story and big congrats to you! It sounds like you and your story are in the right place. Best of luck!

Lola Sharp said...

CONGRATS!! And I love the honest and detailed story. <3,
L

Tracey Joseph said...

Congratulations! Your story was a nice read. :)

Alex Villasante said...

UM. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!
BUT I TOTALLY KNEW IT WOULD HAPPEN! I was one of the GUTGAA judges and I loved loved loved your story so much I tried to lob extra votes in it's direction (Deanna was not having any of that nonsense!) So I'm just thrilled with your news :)

Angela Brown said...

This is so wonderful. I'm glad that GUTGAA was able to see some great results for writer buds!!!

M.J. Fifield said...

Woo Hoo! Congratulations, PK. That's truly terrific!

Sarah Ahiers said...

Yay congrats!! "How i got my agent" stories are my favorite blog posts!!

jaimiengle said...

Wonderful blog. Congrats to you, and thank you so much for taking the time to share this. I really learned a lot, feel inspired, and excited. I have two agents reading my full middle grade manuscript right now, and am waiting with fingers crossed to hear some good news. It's a rough ride, but stories like yours keep my going!

Barbara Watson said...

So, so wonderful! It's such a special thing when others feel what you do about your writing.

E.J. Wesley said...

Awesome news lady! :-D An agent with a vision for your story is key. It's like having an invested partner who wants to get your story published as badly as you do. No losers in that scenario.

I'll be looking for news of a 'sale' in the coming soon! :-)

Rachel said...

So happy for you! Congratulations! Yes, I do feel like I've walked the publishing path with you. We've followed each other's blogs for years, it seems. The Desiree sounds like such an interesting story and I'm glad you found your perfect fit for it. :)

J. A. Bennett said...

That is so great!! I'm super happy for you! YAY, YAY, YAY!

Johanna Garth said...

Such a great story and I love how you and Cassie Mae connected through blogs and now agents :)

Abby Minard said...

Congrats! It's been so wonderful to see all my old blogging buddies get their agents!! SO happy for you :)

VikLit said...

OMG Congrats I love posts like this!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is so awesome! And someone really needed to see all the steps today.

Cherie Reich said...

Congratulations!! That's awesome!

Candilynn Fite said...

Wow for you!!!! What awesome news to read for a IWSG post. :) I too am in the middle of waiting to hear back from an R & R request. The phrase, sitting on pins and needles doesn't even touch my anticipation level!

Best of luck to you!

Marsha Sigman said...

Congratulations!!!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Oh, wow! Congratulations, PK! This is amazing news!

Tell me, tell me, tell me -- which opening for Desiree did you go with?

And great news about Kathryn, too. She and I exchanged beta reads awhile back. Heading over to check out her news ...

Cally Jackson said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! A huge smile spread across my face when I read this post's headline. I'm so happy for you. Looking forward to following the rest of your journey and being able to say 'I knew PK way back when!' :-)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Congratulations!!!! I love your new sparkly blog!

Roger Lawrence said...

Good for you. Maybe there's still hope for us all.

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

Wow, another one for my calendar. I had you pegged at getting a book deal next year. We'll see! So far, so awesomely terrific!

Kathryn Rose said...

Yay yay yay yay yay!!!! I'm so excited about this! I love Stevie and Knox and I'm so thrilled to see so many people excited about their story! *dances dances dances*

SO COOL WE BOTH SIGNED WITH OUR AGENTS IN THE SAME WEEK!

Congrats, my wonderful CP! <3

Jenny S. Morris said...

I love hearing these stories!! Congratulations!!!! And after being one of the GUTGAA judges, it's nice to hear you made your connection through that contest.

I think of Geordie Laforge every time I see her name too!! Hahaha. Jordy's my Twitter Doctor Who buddy. Oh and we talk Supernatural and other geek stuff too. She's awesome.

Madeline Jane said...

Ahh, congrats! It's fate. Everything happens for a reason. :) And your reason was awesome!

Eliza Tilton said...

Yay! That's awesome. Grats!

Carrie-Anne said...

Congratulations on finding your perfect match!

Lynda R Young said...

Oh wow!!! A HUGE congrats and happy dance!!!! That's soooo awesome!

Linda Jackson said...

Congrats, Pk. :)

Kim Lajevardi said...

Congratulations! I hope you have a long and fruitful partnership. Great IWSG post!

Jeff Hargett said...

Excellent news! Congratulations!

Donna Hole said...

Awesome journey PK. Congrats.

.....dhole

Christina Lee said...

*jumps up and down for PK*

Congrats, lady!

Carol Riggs said...

WooHOOO! I'm so psyched for you!! Sounds like an awesome story, and it's great you found an agent who really "gets" your writing. That is SO important. :) CONGRATS!!!

DL Hammons said...

That is awesome PK!! So excited for you. Thank you for sharing your story with us. :)

Elise Fallson said...

Congratulations! I know I'm not being original by saying this but this really is awesome news. Thanks for sharing it with us. (:

cleemckenzie said...

It's always great to read a good story. This one was super great. Congratulations.

michelle said...

Congratulations sistah!! You rock!

fOIS In The City said...

GREAT NEWS, PK. I am doing a happy dance for you. You have done so much work to get your work out there. I know the future holds very exciting things for you !!!

Jemi Fraser said...

SO excited for you!!! Congratulations :)

Lexa Cain said...

HUGE CONGRATS to you (again) and thanks for sharing your inspiring story! There is hope out there, and someday maybe I'll find it, too. :-)

Theresa Milstein said...

I love reading posts like this too. YaY! Congratulations. Wonderful news. I wish you the best moving forward.

Angela Ackerman said...

What a terrific story. It sure sounds like this was a match meant to be. Congrats, congrats, CONGRATS!

Angela

James Garcia Jr. said...

Congratulations, PK. Thanks for sharing your story. *big hugs* You go, girl!

-Jimmy

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Congrats!

Michael Di Gesu said...

ALRIGHT PK!!!!! I am SOOOOOO THRILLED FOR YOU!

I so needed to hear this good news since I have been avoiding my writing like the plague lately. You gave me new hope and inspiration.

I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of you and our determination to get where you want to go.

I was more that happy to help you out in any way I could and can... That's what friends are all about. I feel you like a little sister to me and I couldn't be happier for you! ALL THE BEST!

Very sweet of you to mention me. I was so my pleasure.

Michael

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations! That's awesome!

lbdiamond said...

CONGRATS!!!!!! Well deserved.

Becca Puglisi said...

Congrats, PK! So exciting :).

Samantha Vérant said...

Congrats! Congrats! Congrats!

Tanya Reimer said...

YAY!!!!! Congrats!! Best of luck out there! Happy dance.

Tanya Reimer said...

YAY!!!!! Congrats!! Best of luck out there! Happy dance.

SA Larsenッ said...

You are such a hero, PK!! I love your persistence and perseverance. Doing the Snoopy dance for you!!! *****

Leslie S. Rose said...

Wow, PK. Awesome-sauce. I really believe there is a touch of magic when a writer connects with their agent. The Dr. Who connection proves it. Congrats.

Tammy Theriault said...

i love reading how people get from point a to b...great!!

Karen lee Hallam said...

What a wonderful story, PK. Love hearing how everyone partook in your journey. -takes a village to write a book. :) can't wait to read your BOOK!
I was on that GUTGAA ride too, so much fun.

Ink in the Book said...

I'm late stopping by but wanted to say congrats to your agent success!!!!!!

Joanne Fritz said...

As your newest follower, I'm thrilled for you!

William Kendall said...

Good for you, PK! Congratulations!

LTM said...

omg omg OMG!!!! SQUEE!!!! I know how much this means to you, girl, and I am THRILLED for you!!!

What amazing news, and I hate that I'm late adding my HUGE congratulations! Darned writing cave!

I'm hoping ALL the best for you, that your writing takes off, great deals, and much happy agent karma! xoxoxo ((hugs)) <3

Trisha said...

Apparently I never said congrats on this post?!?! Well, I'm here to say it now!! Congrats!! :)

Deana said...

I'm finally getting over here to congratulate you!! You know I'm still going to do an interview, but I'm taking so long with it, I'm just going to announce it on my blog today. I really am happy for you! I hope you and Jordy are loving each other:)

Jessie Humphries said...

I love these stories! I could read them all day :) Congrats and good luck.

Stephsco said...

Exciting! It's like the graduating class of GUTGAA is now lining up their first jobs. Yay! Congrats on finding an agent who believes in your work.